A popular game fish mistaken by scientists for a dog snapper is actually a new species discovered among the reefs of the Abrolhos region of the South Atlantic Ocean.
The international science journal Zootaxa recently published the discovery of Lutjanus alexandrei, a new snapper species that belongs to the Lutjanidae family, by researchers Rodrigo Moura of Conservation International (CI) and Kenyon Lindeman of Environmental Defense. The study published in Zootaxa provides a revised key for identifying all Lutjanus species in the western Atlantic, along with evidence that the new species completes its life cycle in different but interdependent marine habitats, such as coral reefs and mangroves.
“This discovery that a large, popular fish is a species new to science shows how little we know about the oceans that surround us,” Moura said. “It looks like other snapper species found in the Caribbean and eastern United States, as well as the dog snapper caught by fishermen here in Brazil, but it is a distinct species with different markings and color.”
Twelve species of the family Lutjanidae, including the new discovery, are now identified in the western Atlantic Ocean. They include Lutjanus griseus and Lutjanus apodus, two species restricted to the Caribbean and eastern coast of the United States but previously believed to occur in Brazilian waters until the discovery of Lutjanus alexandrei.
The new species also has been mistaken for Lutjanus jocu, known as the dog snapper, a popular commercial fish in Brazil. According to Moura and Lindeman, the discovery shows the need for more comprehensive studies of Brazil’s reef fish populations, particularly in the northeastern region that includes the Abrolhos area, which contains the nation’s largest concentration of coral reefs.
The new species is named for 18th-century naturalist Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira, whose extensive work in the Brazilian interior remains largely unknown. Moura and Lindeman spent five years observing Lutjanus alexandrei to analyze its characteristics and determine the distinct features.
It occurs from the state of Maranhão to the southern coast of the state of Bahia, and its habitats include coral reefs, rocky shores, coastal lagoons with brackish water, mangroves, and other shallow habitats. Juveniles requiring more food and protection live in mangroves, then migrate to reef habitat and deeper areas as adults.
“Several species spend some of their lives in these different yet connected habitats,” Lindeman said. “That’s why it’s so important to develop integrated conservation strategies that include mangroves, deep reefs, and other interdependent ecosystems.”
Some of the research was conducted under the Marine Management Areas Science program, a CI initiative intended to improve marine biodiversity conservation and the welfare of local communities. In Brazil, the MMAS program was established in the Abrolhos region in October 2005.
Isabela Santos | EurekAlert!
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences